DUTERTE IN BALI. President Rodrigo R. Duterte shares a light moment with his reception party upon his arrival at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia on October 10, 2018 for his participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Gathering set on October 11. (Ace Morandante/Presidential Photo) 

BALI, Indonesia – President Rodrigo R. Duterte arrived Wednesday night here to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Gathering upon the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Duterte and his entourage arrived at 9:09 p.m. aboard a private jet at the Denpasar International Airport.

He was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hiong Wee, Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to ASEAN Elizabeth Buensuceso, Indonesia Trade Minister Enggartiasto and Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Sinyo Harry Sarundajang.

Among the officials who joined the President are Secretaries Alan Peter Cayetano of foreign affairs, Carlos Dominguez of finance, Benjamin Diokno of budget and management, Ernesto Pernia for socioeconomic planning, Martin Andanar of communications and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

Duterte will address the meeting and highlight the need to sustain inclusive and sustainable growth and development for all “through stronger regional and global cooperation and greater security and stability”.

At the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering, Duterte will meet with ASEAN leaders to discuss bilateral issues of mutual importance.

“The Philippines is committed to actively participate and support ASEAN and ASEAN-centered efforts in order to advance shared aspirations for greater peace, progress and prosperity for the Southeast Asian region,” according to a statement.

The inaugural ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering is a special meeting of ASEAN Leaders with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank (WB) president Jim Yong-kim and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres.

“The purpose of this meeting is for Indonesia to show to the world that ASEAN is united as a group. ASEAN in the past few years has become a potent force in the world arena,” Wee said in a press conference on Wednesday.

It will showcase the ASEAN leadership and solid cooperation in managing the region’s economic growth, as well as their SDGs achievements.

The government leaders of the region are also expected to affirm ASEAN’s commitment of support to the IMF, WB and UN’s role in addressing development challenges.

The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering will hold a two-hour informal roundtable exchange of views under the theme, Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Overcoming Development Gap through Regional and Global Collaborative Actions”.

It will be co-chaired by Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore as chair of ASEAN 2018.

Others ASEAN leaders expected to attend the meeting include: Prime Ministers H.M. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Brunei Darussalam, Hun Sen of Cambodia; Thonglun Sisoulith of Laos, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam; and, President U Win Myint of Myanmar.

After the meeting, the leaders and their spouses will be joined by the IMF, WB and UN officials in the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering dinner.

Duterte will return to the Philippines after the dinner and will report to the nation the results of his participation upon his arrival at Davao International Airport. (PNA)